IN INDIA: Chief Minister seeks reduction of airfare for Haj Pilgrims


Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Smriti Irani, seeking a reduction of the airfare for Haj pilgrims from Vijayawada. Alternatively, they should be given the option to start the journey from other airports, he said.

YSRC MPs V. Vijayasai Reddy and Y.S. Avinash Reddy submitted the CM’s letter to the central minister in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The chief minister pointed out that Vijayawada was allotted as the embarkation point for the Haj pilgrims of Andhra Pradesh. About 1982 Haj pilgrims have proceeded from Vijayawada out of 2,300 Haj pilgrims registered and selected by the Haj committee of India.

“The remaining Haj pilgrims have proceeded from other embarkation points. The Haj committee has issued its Haj notification on 29, November, 2023. Subsequently, the guidelines for Haj 2024 have also been issued.”

“There is a considerable difference in the airfare among different embarkation points. A difference of about `85,000 is seen from the Vijayawada embarkation points in comparison to Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru embarkation points. This is very high.”

The Chief Minister reminded the central minister that during the previous year’s Haj 2023, a similar representation was made from the government of AP for a reduction of the airfare. Consequently, it was promised before the delegation of AP that necessary steps will be taken for the subsequent years.

Jagan Mohan Reddy requested the central government for urgent action to resolve the issue by initiating steps for reduction of the airfare from Vijayawada, to bring it on par with the airfare from Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

He also stated that alternatively, the central ministry of minorities affairs is at liberty to permit the Haj pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh to have their embarkation in Hyderabad, Chennai or Bengaluru.